Sliding Caps shoot for a win in Ottawa

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, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

After eight consecutive losses the Washington Capitals have finally been knocked off their perch atop the Southeast Division. However, the Capitals can regain the catbird seat by ending the losing streak tonight when they visit the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

The Capitals were dealt a 3-2 setback Saturday in Boston, giving Washington eight straight losses (0-6-2) since its last win on Dec. 1 in St. Louis. Washington hasn't lost nine in a row since Feb. 25-March 15, 2007.

Meanwhile, Atlanta won its game Saturday against New Jersey to pull one point ahead of Washington and Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast, marking the first time since April of 2008 that the Capitals have not occupied the top spot in their division. However, both Atlanta and the Lightning are idle today, meaning two points would place Washington back atop the Southeast.

The Capitals fell behind to Boston 3-0 in the third period and although the club put forth a valiant effort they were never able to recover from the poor start. Washington forced Boston goalie Tim Thomas to make 25 of his 39 saves in the third period as the Bruins held on for the 3-2 victory.

Karl Alzner scored late in the third period to get the Capitals within one, while Michal Neuvirth stopped 18-of-21 shots in Washington's latest setback.

"The first point [head coach Bruce Boudreau] talked about today before the game was being ready, they're going to come out hard. Then we go out and do that in the first period," Bradley said. "They're too good of a team to give them a 3-0 lead."

The Caps played their second straight game without winger Alexander Semin on Saturday and he is questionable for tonight with a lower-body injury as well as a case of the flu. The Russian star is leading the Caps with 18 goals this season, but he hasn't scored since Nov. 28 against Carolina.

Washington is just 6-8-1 on the road this season and has dropped its three tilts as the guest. After tonight, the Caps will play their next two games on home ice against New Jersey and Pittsburgh, respectively.

The Senators, meanwhile, have earned a split in their last four games, but they have gained a point in each of those tests with a 2-0-2 record over that stretch.

Ottawa was dealt an overtime loss in a wild game Friday night in Denver. Matt Duchene scored 2:36 into OT to lift the Avalanche to the 6-5 victory at the Pepsi Center.

Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Matt Carkner and Erik Karlsson all lit the lamp for the Senators. Brian Elliot was tagged for six goals on 25 shots in the loss.

Ottawa led the contest 2-1 after one period, but the Avs had tied it up at 3-3 by the close of 40 minutes. The Sens would grab a 5-4 lead on Alfredsson's 11th goal of the year at 11:15 of the third, but Ryan O'Reilly would send the game to overtime with his goal for Colorado with 3:13 left in regulation.

"They are really good around the net, one of the best in the league," said Alfredsson. "We thought we defended pretty good, but they made a great play and were able to tie it then win it."

The Senators have lost five of their last six home games and are just 8-8-2 as the host this season. After tonight, Ottawa is off until it visits Nashville this Thursday.

Ottawa and the Caps met once earlier this season when Washington notched an overtime victory on home ice back on Oct. 11. It was the eighth win in the last 13 meetings for the Caps in the series, but Washington has lost four straight and six of its last eight in Ottawa.


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